Two cocoa farmer groups in North and Central Guadalcanal are the latest beneficiaries of chainsaws under the Sustainable Economic Growth and Export Strengthening (SEGES) Programme of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL).
They are Samba cocoa farmers and John Manengelea from the Unity Cocoa Enterprise from Ghaobata and Vulolo wards.
Chief Field officer for Guadalcanal agriculture Extension, Joseph Wotomaru said the support was part of the cocoa rehabilitation initiative under MAL SEGES programme 2020 – 2024 which aimed at empowering farmers and buyers to improve productivity and revenue earnings.
He said the chainsaws will help the beneficiaries to maintain and rehabilitate their ageing cocoa farms to improve cocoa tree vigour and yield. “The chainsaws were given to farmers with farms over 20 years and trees over grown, purposely to conduct radical pruning.”
“Some smallholder cocoa farmers especially in Guadalcanal Province are not equipped with the necessary tools and practices to rejuvenate their aging cocoa farms and I believe such support would help them maintain and revitalize their old farms, than to establish new cocoa farms that would take up three to four years before yield.”
The four main objectives of the SEGES programme is to;
- Make sure farmers, associations, producers, buyers and exporters are empowered to increase productivity and to increase revenue earnings.
- Enhanced copra productivity through rehabilitation and support to CRB activities
- Enhance Cocoa Productivity through Rehabilitation and Genetic improvements
- Support Kava developments to increase productivity in all the Provinces